Nginx is available in Ubuntu's default repositories, so the installation is rather straight forward.
Since this is our first interaction with the apt packaging system in this session, we will update our local package index so that we have access to the most recent package listings. Afterwards, we can install nginx:
After accepting the procedure, apt-get will install Nginx and any required dependencies to your server.
Step 2: Adjust the Firewall
Before we can test Nginx, we need to reconfigure our firewall software to allow access to the service. Nginx registers itself as a service with ufw, our firewall, upon installation. This makes it rather easy to allow Nginx access.
We can list the applications configurations that ufw knows how to work with by typing:
You should get a listing of the application profiles:
As you can see, there are three profiles available for Nginx:
Nginx Full: This profile opens both port 80 (normal, unencrypted web traffic) and port 443 (TLS/SSL encrypted traffic)
Nginx HTTP: This profile opens only port 80 (normal, unencrypted web traffic)
Nginx HTTPS: This profile opens only port 443 (TLS/SSL encrypted traffic)
It is recommended that you enable the most restrictive profile that will still allow the traffic you've configured. Since we haven't configured SSL for our server yet, in this guide, we will only need to allow traffic on port 80.
You can enable this by typing:
$sudo ufw allow 'OpenSSH'
You can verify the change by typing:
You should see HTTP traffic allowed in the displayed output:
To Action From
-- ------ ----
OpenSSH ALLOW Anywhere
Nginx HTTP ALLOW Anywhere
OpenSSH (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
Nginx HTTP (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
Step 3: Check your Web Server
At the end of the installation process, Ubuntu 16.04 starts Nginx. The web server should already be up and running.
We can check with the systemd init system to make sure the service is running by typing:
● nginx.service - A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: active (running) since Mon 2016-04-18 16:14:00 EDT; 4min 2s ago
Main PID: 12857 (nginx)
├─12857 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on; master_process on
└─12858 nginx: worker process
As you can see above, the service appears to have started successfully. However, the best way to test this is to actually request a page from Nginx.
You can access the default Nginx landing page to confirm that the software is running properly. You can access this through your server's domain name or IP address.
You should see the default Nginx landing page, which should look something like this:
This page is simply included with Nginx to show you that the server is running correctly.
Step 4: Manage the Nginx Process
Now that you have your web server up and running, we can go over some basic management commands.
To stop your web server, you can type:
To start the web server when it is stopped, type:
To stop and then start the service again, type:
If you are simply making configuration changes, Nginx can often reload without dropping connections. To do this, this command can be used:
By default, Nginx is configured to start automatically when the server boots. If this is not what you want, you can disable this behavior by typing:
To re-enable the service to start up at boot, you can type:
Step 5: Get Familiar with Important Nginx Files and Directories
Now that you know how to manage the service itself, you should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with a few important directories and files.
/var/www/html: The actual web content, which by default only consists of the default Nginx page you saw earlier, is served out of the /var/www/html directory. This can be changed by altering Nginx configuration files.
/etc/nginx: The Nginx configuration directory. All of the Nginx configuration files reside here.
/etc/nginx/nginx.conf: The main Nginx configuration file. This can be modified to make changes to the Nginx global configuration.
/etc/nginx/sites-available/: The directory where per-site "server blocks" can be stored. Nginx will not use the configuration files found in this directory unless they are linked to the sites-enabled directory (see below). Typically, all server block configuration is done in this directory, and then enabled by linking to the other directory.
/etc/nginx/sites-enabled/: The directory where enabled per-site "server blocks" are stored. Typically, these are created by linking to configuration files found in the sites-available directory.
/etc/nginx/snippets: This directory contains configuration fragments that can be included elsewhere in the Nginx configuration. Potentially repeatable configuration segments are good candidates for refactoring into snippets.
/var/log/nginx/access.log: Every request to your web server is recorded in this log file unless Nginx is configured to do otherwise.
/var/log/nginx/error.log: Any Nginx errors will be recorded in this log.
Now that you have your web server installed, you have many options for the type of content to serve and the technologies you want to use to create a richer experience.
In order to avoid a possible hash bucket memory problem that can arise from adding additional server names, we will go ahead and adjust a single value within our /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file. Open the file now:
Within the file, find the server_names_hash_bucket_size directive. Remove the # symbol to uncomment the line:
. . .
. . .
Save and close the file when you are finished.
Next, test to make sure that there are no syntax errors in any of your Nginx files:
If no problems were found, restart Nginx to enable your changes:
Nginx should now be serving both of your domain names.